Great Hiking in the Boca Negra Canyon

Petroglyphs at the Boca Negra Canyon - a great spot for Albuquerque hiking

If you’re looking for something fun to do in the outdoors this summer or fall in Albuquerque, we recommend heading to the Boca Negra Canyon. It’s just one of the many great Albuquerque hiking adventures you can find yourself on this summer, all of which are at your fingertips when you stay with us at our charming Albuquerque Bed and Breakfast!

The Boca Negra Canyon is actually part of the Petroglyph National Monument, which we covered in detail in a recent blog. From here, you have access to over 100 petroglyphs and three of the best Albuquerque hiking trails in the area. Hiking is truly a beautiful way to appreciate New Mexico’s unique landscapes, and the Boca Negra Canyon offers a quick and easy introduction to it.

Like all Albuquerque hiking adventures, we recommend starting your day early and taking plenty of water. Are you ready for an epic adventure in the beautiful Boca Negra Canyon? Book your room at our Old Town Albuquerque Bed and Breakfast today!

Wildflowers bloom at the Boca Negra Canyon in Albuquerque - a great place for Albuquerque hiking

Hike the Boca Negra Canyon in Albuquerque

The Boca Negra Canyon is home to some of the most fascinating Albuquerque hiking trails and is a great place to spend a morning or afternoon. The Boca Negra Canyon is the most popular part of the Petroglyph National Monument, as it also happens to be the most developed. Not only will you find three relatively well-marked and maintained trails, but you’ll also have access to restrooms, shade, and a drinking fountain.

There are three trails in the Boca Negra Canyon; the Mesa Point Trail, the Macaw Trail, and the Cliff Base Trail, all of which can be combined into a single loop. The Mesa Point Trails is rated as strenuous, while the other two are rated as moderate. Even though these trails are short – combined, only taking around an hour to walk – it’s best saved for those in good hiking shape.

On this short Albuquerque hiking journey, you’ll see 100 different Petroglyphs, making it a relatively quick introduction to the fascinating and diverse cultures that once called these lands home. The petroglyphs aren’t the only reason to hike the Boca Negra Canyon, though – it’s also an area filled with a rich diversity of plant and animal life. 

Popular plant species found in the Boca Negra Canyon include four-wing saltbush, sand sage, rabbitbrush, snakeweed, indigo bush, wildflowers, Indian ricegrass, and other dune-loving flowers and grasses. You’ll also encounter a variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals here, including hawks, owls, turkey vultures, roadrunners, flycatchers, migratory birds, rabbits, snakes, lizards, and more.

After hiking the Boca Negra Canyon, head out for more great Albuquerque hiking adventures in the Sandia Mountains

More Albuquerque Hiking Trails

Though the Boca Negra Canyon offers great Albuquerque hiking, the trails there are short, and we’re sure it will put you in the mood for even more beautiful desert landscapes. Luckily, there is some genuinely spectacular Albuquerque hiking in the area, including trails in the magnificent Sandia Mountains.

New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment, and it’s never been more obvious why than when you get outside for Albuquerque hiking. Trails wind through the high desert landscapes, offering plenty of plant and animal diversity and breathtaking views. If you’re ready for a bit of adventure, here are some of the best Albuquerque hiking trails to consider:

  1. If you like long hikes with rewarding payoff views, don’t miss the Foothills Trail 365 in the Sandia Mountains. It’s one of the longer Albuquerque hiking trails we’ll feature, at just under 13 miles, but it’s more than worth it.
  2. If wildflowers are important to you, summer is a great time to hike the Embudito Trail 192, also located in the Sandia Mountain foothills.
  3. A popular thing to do in Albuquerque is riding the Sandia Crest Tramway, but did you know you can also hike this route? Take the lower La Luz Trail from the tram’s base, and enjoy the scenery in the area. You can also take the main La Luz Trail to the top and ride the tramway back down! You’ll be tired, but the views are simply magnificent.
  4. If you aren’t up for some of the more extensive hikes in the Sandia Mountains, consider the family-friendly Cienega Canyon in the Cibola National Forest. This Albuquerque hiking trail is well maintained and features charming streams and bridges.
  5. Don’t miss the beautiful Paseo del Bosque Trail, which runs 16 miles along the Rio Grande River. From here, you can also access several trails in the Rio Grande Valley State Park for even more great Albuquerque hiking.
  6. Another excellent place for Albuquerque hiking is the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. The geology here is simply stunning!
  7. Bandelier National Monument is a quick drive from Albuquerque and offers plenty of great hiking, history, and stunning landscapes. It’s a “must!”
  8. Follow in the footsteps of Aldo Leopold, and hike the Aldo Leopold Trail at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park.
  9. Another popular place to hike in the Petroglyph National Monument is The Volcanoes Day Use Area, home to some great Albuquerque hiking trails.
  10. North of Albuquerque is the Jemez Mountains, where you’ll find plenty of great hiking. A favorite here is the Spence Hot Spring Trail, where you’ll see red rocks, meandering streams, wildflower meadows, and natural hot springs.

This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding incredible Albuquerque hiking trails worth taking. When you’re done for the day and ready to relax, there’s nowhere better than our welcoming Albuquerque Bed and Breakfast. Book your room with us today!

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